Impeachment | St. Louis Public Radio

Impeachment

Updated at 5:43 p.m. ET

Senators voted on Wednesday afternoon to acquit President Trump on two articles of impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — after a historically unusual but typically contentious trial.

Forty-eight senators supported a verdict of guilty on Article I; 52 voted not guilty. Forty-seven senators supported a verdict of guilty on Article II; 53 voted not guilty. The Senate would have needed 67 votes to convict Trump on either article.

Updated 5:43 p.m. ET

The Senate has voted to acquit President Trump on both articles of impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — ending a months-long process of investigations and hearings and exposing a sharply divided Congress and country.

Acquittal on the first article was 52-48, with Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah becoming the only senator to cross party lines. Trump was cleared of the second charge on a straight party-line vote of 53-47.

Convicting and removing Trump from office would have required 67 votes.

Updated at 5:30 p.m.

House Democrats and President Trump's defense team made their final arguments in the Senate impeachment trial before lawmakers vote later this week on whether to remove Trump from office.

Both sides presented opposing versions of the president's handling of aid for Ukraine last summer and the impeachment proceedings so far, before ultimately arriving at divergent conclusions.

Jameca Falconer joined Friday's "St. Louis on the Air" to talk about the types of attention and how limited attention spans can lead to hasty or irrational decision making. Steve Smith joined the conversation by phone to talk about guidelines for senators
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

This week marked the next phase of the U.S. Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. Eventually, the senators will have to vote whether or not to remove the president from office. Senators are in the midst of a question-and-answer period before potentially calling on witnesses to testify. 

The lawmakers sit through hours and hours of information overload during these hearings, which began Jan. 16, and are only granted a brief 15-minute recess every two hours — with a 45-minute recess for dinner at 6 p.m. The break time is decided on by the majority leader, with approval from the minority leader. 

That can take a mental and physical toll — as noted by reporters covering the hearings and illustrated by senators taking cat naps or walking out during presentations. One senator is even providing fidget spinners to colleagues. 

Updated at 8:00 p.m. ET

The Senate impeachment trial adjourned Friday evening, with a plan to return Monday morning to continue. Closing arguments will be presented Monday, after which senators will be permitted to speak on the floor. A final vote, during which President Trump is expected to be acquitted, is expected next Wednesday around 4 p.m. ET.

Updated at 10:56 p.m. ET

Senators weighing impeachment charges against President Trump spent Thursday firing questions at lawyers as they did the day before, just as the prospect of former national security adviser John Bolton's appearance as a witness continues to stoke speculation. The Senate will enter its next phase Friday — considering whether to allow witnesses and evidence.

Updated at 11:40 p.m. ET

The Senate on Wednesday night concluded the first of two days full of questions in the impeachment trial of President Trump. The proceeding offered clues about the thinking of senators, but the session consisted mostly of trial lawyers on both sides magnifying arguments they have already delivered.

There were, however, controversial moments in which Trump's counsel took positions Democrats decried as radical or even unlawful.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.
Gage Skidmore | Flickr

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt remains opposed to President Donald Trump’s impeachment, as the Senate trial continues into its second week.

The U.S. House has “clearly failed” to make a case that Trump should be removed from office for pressuring Ukraine to investigate political rival and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son’s activities, the Republican said in an interview Tuesday.

Missouri’s senior senator said the fact that the Democrats are pushing to call witnesses during the Senate trial implies that they don’t think their case is strong enough without more information being introduced into the process. 

Updated at 7:35 p.m. ET

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told a group of Senate Republicans late Tuesday that he does not yet have the votes to stop Democrats from calling witnesses during the impeachment trial of President Trump, according to people familiar with the discussion.

But even as McConnell made the concession, the dynamic remains fluid. Whether Democrats' push for witnesses succeeds or fails could come down to a group of moderate Republicans who have remained open, but uncommitted, to new witnesses since the start of the trial.

Updated at 9:15 p.m. ET

As President Trump's legal team pressed the case for acquittal on Monday, they repeatedly made two points: the charges against Trump do not meet the constitution's criteria for impeachment. And if the president is removed from office for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, it will set a "dangerous" precedent.

"You cannot turn conduct that is not impeachable into impeachable conduct simply by using words like quid pro quo," said one of Trump's lawyers, Alan Dershowitz, calling the charges "vague, indefinable."

Updated at 1:32 p.m. ET

President Trump "did absolutely nothing wrong," White House counsel Pat Cipollone said Saturday, as lawyers representing the president got their first shot to poke holes in the impeachment case made this week by Democrats.

Saturday's proceedings, which lasted a little more than two hours, set up the White House arguments in the impeachment trial. The proceedings resume Monday at 1 p.m.

Nat Thomas | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie O’Donoghue and Jason Rosenbaum take a look at local, state and national stories that made news this week.

They include the unsuccessful proposal from the head of the Bi-State Development Agency to revive the Loop Trolley, which shut down after a string of financial difficulties. St. Louis Public Radio’s Kae Petrin joined the show to talk about the proposal, which failed to get approval from a Bi-State board committee on Friday.

Updated at 9:00 p.m. ET

House Democrats on Friday finished their third and final day of arguments that President Trump, impeached by the House, now should be convicted and removed from office by the Senate.

The president's lawyers will get their turn to lay out the case for acquittal starting this weekend.

"A toxic mess"

Updated at 10:40 p.m. ET

House Democrats finished their second day of oral arguments on Thursday, contending that that President Trump's attempt to pressure Ukraine into investigations was not only an attempt to cheat in the 2020 election, but Democrats said it was also the kind of behavior the nation's founding fathers hoped to guard against.

Updated at 1:50 a.m. ET Wednesday

After a long day and night of dueling between the House managers calling for impeachment and attorneys for President Trump declaring the articles of impeachment "ridiculous," the Senate adopted a set of rules that will govern its impeachment trial, in which opening arguments will get underway Wednesday.

The resolution, put forward by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, calls for each side to receive up to 24 hours to argue their case, spread over three days.

St. Louis Public Radio | 90.7 KWMU will offer live coverage of the Senate impeachment trial from NPR as they are available. Listeners can check back at this post for upcoming special coverage dates and times that will be posted as we receive more information.

Updated at 6:30 p.m. ET

The House of Representatives has delivered articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate, which is expected to begin a trial next week.

Earlier in the day, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi named seven Democratic members of Congress as the managers who will argue the case for impeachment.

Those managers brought the articles to the Senate on Wednesday evening.

President Donald Trump speaks at a Granite City Works warehouse on July 26, 2018.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri’s congressional delegation was divided Wednesday on the historic vote to impeach President Donald Trump.

It’s only the third time in American history that members of the House impeached a president. But it’s unlikely the Republican-controlled Senate will remove Trump from office.

Updated at 8:56 p.m. ET

President Trump is now just the third president in American history to be impeached.

Lawmakers passed two articles of impeachment against Trump. The first article, which charges Trump with abuse of power, was approved largely along a party-line vote, 230-197-1. The second article, on obstructing Congress, passed 229-198-1.

Updated at 12:12 p.m. ET

The House Judiciary Committee on Friday approved two articles of impeachment against President Trump, making him the fourth president in American history to face impeachment.

In contrast to Thursday's contentious back-and-forth between the two parties, Friday's session was devoid of rancor, or even any debate. Immediately after calling the session to order, Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., ordered two votes, one for each article. Both were approved 23-17 along party lines.

Updated at 11:38 p.m. ET

Planned votes on two articles of impeachment against President Trump were delayed late Thursday night by Rep. Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. He asked members to consider how they want to vote and to reconvene at 10 a.m. Friday.

Ranking minority member Rep. Doug Collins and others protested that Nadler had upset the committee's plans without consulting them.

The Judiciary Committee had sparred for more than 12 hours Thursday ahead of expected votes.

Updated at 10:50 p.m. ET

House Democrats began work on completing their articles of impeachment against President Trump Wednesday evening, setting the stage for a vote by the full House.

The Judiciary Committee convened to amend the impeachment legislation introduced Tuesday by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., with its chairman, Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., calling the facts against Trump "overwhelming" and that Congress must act now to protect the integrity of U.S. election and its national security.

Updated at 8:50 p.m. ET

House Democrats unveiled two articles of impeachment against President Trump on Tuesday morning, charging him with abuse of power in the Ukraine affair and obstruction of Congress.

Read the articles of impeachment here.

Updated at 6:51 p.m. ET

Democrats in the House took the next step toward impeachment on Monday with the presentation of what they call the evidence of President Trump's improper conduct in the Ukraine affair.

"President Trump's persistent and continuing effort to coerce a foreign country to help him cheat to win an election is a clear and present danger to our free and fair elections and to our national security," said Daniel Goldman, the Democratic staff counsel who presented the Democrats' case in the Judiciary Committee hearing.

Updated at 6:40 p.m. ET

Wednesday marked the beginning of a new phase in House Democrats' efforts to impeach President Trump.

What members called the fact-finding portion of the process is complete, so the House Judiciary Committee began assessing what action to take and what articles of impeachment to draft, if it decides to draft them.

Updated at 4:40 p.m. ET

Fiona Hill, who served as the top Russia expert on the National Security Council before resigning last summer, criticized Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee for advancing theories that Ukraine, and not Russia, interfered with the 2016 presidential election.

Testifying on the third and final day of impeachment hearings before the panel this week, Hill said, "I would ask that you please not promote politically driven falsehoods that so clearly advance Russian interests."

Updated at 7:08 p.m. ET

Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, tied President Trump directly to conditioning a meeting with the Ukrainian president with "a public statement from President Zelenskiy committing to investigations of Burisma and the 2016 election."

Updated at 8:40 p.m ET

Two witnesses called by Republicans in the House impeachment inquiry testified Tuesday, indicating they had reservations over the content of President Trump's July 25th phone call with the president of Ukraine, and his desire to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.

Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET

The former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine told Congress on Friday she was recalled after a smear campaign led by President Trump's allies — and Trump criticized her on Twitter even as she testified live on television.

Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch appeared at Democrats' second open impeachment hearing to discuss her career and the circumstances under which her posting to Kyiv was prematurely halted earlier this year.

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